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« If I Were an Editor 4 | Main | Taboo »

September 06, 2002

Free Reads -- Toby Young

Friedrich --

Toby Young, who has written a book about his years trying and failing to make it in the New York media world, marvels for the New York Observer at the thin skins and dreary souls of big-time journalists, here.

An excerpt:

I arrived in New York in 1995 with tales of the legendary bad behavior of Ben Hecht, Herman J. Mankiewicz and Dorothy Parker swimming in my head, expecting to find their modern-day equivalents in the offices of Vanity Fair. I imagined this zany, madcap community where no one stood on ceremony and everyone had a wisecrack at the ready. But that devil-may-care attitude, that sense of fun, was nowhere to be found. Instead, I was confronted with a regiment of pinched and hidebound careerists who never got drunk and were safely tucked up in bed by 10 p.m. In London, Id seen chartered accountants behave with more abandon.

If you want to find out what life is like in the NYC midtown-media world, you could do worse than to read Young's memoir, "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People." It's fast and amusing, like a nonfiction version of "Bright Lights, Big City." Young does a spankingly good job of bringing back to life the Conde Nast and Tina Brown '90s. (A nightmare time, believe you me.)



posted by Michael at September 6, 2002


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